Caregiving is a labor of love, but it can often be just as draining as it is rewarding. Caregivers commonly feel overwhelmed at times by the emotional and physical strain of the responsibility they feel to take the best care of their loved ones. You may be reluctant to admit you could use a break, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. That’s where respite care comes in.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 percent of caregivers experience emotional and physical stress from their role and 54 percent say that their health has gotten worse due to caregiving, affecting their ability to give care. Even with these statistics, the National Alliance of Caregiving and AARP found only 12 percent of family caregivers take advantage of respite care services.
Whether you want to go on a relaxing vacation, need to travel for work or simply wish to take some time for yourself, respite care is a great option. It’s also a helpful resource in cases of emergency, such as becoming ill or a death in the family.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care could simply be asking a friend or family to help fill in while you take a break to eat lunch or spend time with family or friends. Other respite care is offered by most assisted living communities, nursing centers and through personal home care assistance, and allows seniors to check in for a short-term stay, ranging anywhere from several hours to several weeks.
Respite care residents receive all the same services available to full-time residents, including meals, assistance with personal care, transportation, activities and group outings. Family can rest easy knowing their loved one is being cared for 24 hours a day by a dedicated staff of medical professionals.
Why Respite Care?
Respite care provides you relief so you can better care for your loved one. As a caregiver, you most likely take great pride in your commitment to caring for your loved one. Giving yourself this gift can also benefit your family member, as a break from their normal routine can sometimes be appreciated.
A respite stay can be used as a “trial” to determine if living in an assisted living community, nursing center or using personal home care assistance could be the right fit for your family’s situation.
Arranging Respite Care
Before deciding if respite care is the best option, talk openly with your loved ones about the appropriate amount of time to be away and how it could benefit the family. Next, research programs in your area that provide respite care and if the needs of your loved one can be met at that facility.
Many people aren’t aware of the financial programs available that can help pay for respite care. Most long-term care insurance policies will cover some of the cost.
If you have questions about your healthcare needs, call 1.866.KINDRED to speak with one of our Registered Nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or for help locating respite care options near you, try this elder care locator.